The experiment of using Texas Longhorns junior running back Chris Warren III as an H-back has come to an end after three games, as Orangebloods reported on Monday that Warren is planning on transferring from the program.
Inside Texas also had the news on Monday.
During the afternoon, Warren made his decision official.
“After putting a lot of thought into it with my family, I talked to Coach Herman this morning and let him know I have decided it’s in my best interest to transfer from The University of Texas to continue my education and football career,” he said in a statement released by the school. “It was a difficult decision, and I’m thankful to all of my teammates and coaches I’ve had on the 40 Acres. Texas is a special place, and I’m thankful and appreciative to have had the opportunity to grow as a person and student-athlete here. I’ve formed so many great relationships and memories and will cherish them forever. I will miss my teammates and The University of Texas, and I will forever bleed burnt orange. Thank you for all the support!”
The move isn’t particularly surprising, as Warren did publicly express his frustration at not being able to remain at the running back position full time, though the coaches were quick to praise his selflessness during media availabilities.
Warren has a redshirt year remaining, which would allow him to transfer to another FBS program for his last year of eligibility, but he could also apply for a medical redshirt because he missed most of the 2016 season due to injury.
A US Army All-American out of high school who was ranked as the No. 80 player nationally and the No. 8 running back, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Warren burst onto the scene as a freshman with a 276-yard, four-touchdown performance against Texas Tech.
However, outside of a big game against lowly San Jose State this season, Warren was never able to replicate that success again. He eventually fell out of the running back rotation following the Oklahoma State game — he carried the ball only four times in the last five games.
The 6’4, 250-pounder finished the regular season with 71 carries for 314 yards and six touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 229 yards and two more touchdowns.
It’s hard to begrudge Warren the desire to play his longtime position of running back, but given that he’s unlikely to prove himself as an NFL running back somewhere else, his best chance at making it to the league would likely be to accept his future as an H-back and embrace that role.